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Stopping childcare vouchers during maternity leave

Wednesday, 16 March 2016
C worked for a company that offered a voucher system for childcare via a salary sacrifice scheme. These arrangements are quite common place in industry. C went on maternity leave and her employer stopped the entitlement to the vouchers. C sued her employer in the Employment Tribunal alleging that by stopping her entitlement to the vouchers was discriminatory. C relied on the HMRC guidance which classed childcare vouchers administered under a salary sacrifice scheme as…

Pulling a "Sickie" the Legal implications

Wednesday, 16 March 2016
The facts of this case are these. A bus driver alleged that he slipped on some spilt water in the workplace, and badly injured himself. His employer suspected that he had either manufactured the accident, or was deliberately exaggerating his symptoms when he went on sick leave.The employer arranged for him to be subject to covert surveillance, and as a result of that covert surveillance, a disciplinary process against the employee began.   The employer…

Annual Compensation Limit Increase

Monday, 14 March 2016
The Government has announced that the annual increase in compensation payments which will come into force on 6th April 2016 are:   1. A week's pay is now capped at £479.00; and   2. The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal cases is £78,962.00.   Please note that the statutory redundancy figure cap is with effect from 6th April now £479.00   If you have any Employment law enquiries please do not hesitate to contact…

Damages for Injury to Feelings are Taxable

Tuesday, 02 February 2016
In Moorthy v The Commissioners for Her Majesties Revenue & Customs the facts of the case were that the Claimant was made redundant. He successfully argued that he was unfairly dismissed and suffered age discrimination.   By way of a settlement he was paid an ex-gratia payment of £200,000.00 by his employers who treated the first £30,000.00 as being tax exempt under tax law, and they deducted tax at the basic rate from the remainder…

Employer's Rights to Read Employee's Personal Emails Fact and Fiction

Wednesday, 27 January 2016
  Background The European Court has held that it may be appropriate and proportionate for an employer to view an employee's personal email/messenger account. The Court had to balance Article 8 of the ECHR (The Right to a Private Life) with an employee's obligation to an employer that "it is not unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during working hours" and provided that the monitoring…

Zero Hour Contracts

Tuesday, 26 January 2016
The exclusivity terms in Zero Hour Contracts Regulations 2015 came into force on 11th January 2016.   The Regulations state that any dismissal of a zero hour contract employee is automatically unfair, if the principle reason is that he/she breached a contractual clause prohibiting him/her for working for another employer. No qualifying period is necessary to bring a claim for unfair dismissal if the employee was breached for that reason.   Please note that it…

Health and Safety – Reducing Red Tape for the Self-Employed

Friday, 13 November 2015
The Government has introduced an amendment to their Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 exempting genuine self-employed people from the provisions of the Act. On its website the Health and Safety Executive estimate that this change will affect approximately 1.7 million self-employed people.   The Health and Safety law will still apply if the self-employed person's work activity is specifically mentioned in the regulations. These are: Agriculture which includes farming market gardening and forestry…

BIS Guidance on Zero Hours Contracts

Monday, 02 November 2015
1. The Department of Business Innovation and Skills has issued guidance on the use of zero hours contracts. For the link click here   ‎The guidance says that zero hours contracts are fine for relationships that are intermittent, short term, and in industries where a great deal of flexibility is needed such as the catering industry bar staff and the like.     The guidance says that where an employee however is working regular…

The Government has published a New Enterprise Bill

Friday, 30 October 2015
The employment related parts of this bill contain provisions for: Making it a criminal offence to offer an apprenticeship course or training if it is not a statutory apprenticeship thus trying to prevent employers circumventing the national minimum wage by calling jobs apprenticeships, when in fact they do not comply with the statutory definition of an apprenticeship; A cap on public sector exit payments of up to £95,000.00 per person within a 28 day period.…

Employment Tribunals Lose Power to Make Wider Recommendations

Thursday, 29 October 2015
From 1st October 2015 Employment Tribunals no longer have the power to make recommendations which go beyond the employee's own circumstances in a discrimination claim. This power little used in practice, but prior to 1st October the Tribunal did have power to make recommendations for the benefit of the wider workforce and not just the individual claimant.     If you have any employment law issues you would like to discuss with our specialist team…

Being Paid to Sleep at Work

Wednesday, 28 October 2015
There have been a series of conflicting cases on whether an employee who is allowed to sleep whilst on duty is entitled to receive the national minimum wage (NMW) for the hours that they are "on duty".   It had been common practice in the care industry to pay a member of staff who was on duty in a care home but was allowed to sleep unless awoken by resident's needs. These care workers were…

Modern Slavery Statements

Tuesday, 27 October 2015
With effect from 1st October employers with an annual turnover of £36m will have to publish a modern slavery statement each year.   Employers must state the steps that they have taken to prevent modern slavery existing in any part of their business or supply chain.   If you have any employment law issues you would like to discuss with our specialist team please do not hesitate to contact us Author: Gareth Price Email:

Cast Discrimination Servant Awarded a Total of £184,000.00 for Unpaid Wages

Monday, 26 October 2015
A domestic servant of Mr and Mrs C, was brought from India, and later worked in the UK for them as a servant. Mr T was from the Adivasi people who were considered in India low cast. She received the sum of 11p per hour, she had to sleep on the floor, she was on duty 14 hours a day, and she did not have access to her bank account and was prevented from contacting…

National Minimum Wage Workers who are Home-based and Visit Clients

Friday, 23 October 2015
A Spanish case has recently gone to the European Court for a determination on the applicability of national minimum wage and travelling to and from appointments.   The case involved Spanish lift technicians who were supplied with a company van, they were home based, and had to travel to clients premises in order to service and maintain lifts. The evidence was that many of these employees travelled in excess of one hour from their home…

Grandparents to Receive Shared Parental Leave and Pay from 2018

Thursday, 22 October 2015
In April 2015 shared parental leave was introduced for mums and dads of children. This was a laudable piece of legislation, but sadly the draughtsmanship of the actual rules that parent have to follow and employers have to administer was to say the least unnecessarily complex.   The latest Government announcement is that the Government was looking at allowing parents to transfer part of their family friendly leave entitlement to grandparents. The idea being is…

Employment Law Changes from 1st October 2015

Thursday, 22 October 2015
Following the Employment law changes which came into force on 1 October 2015, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates are now as follows:   • £6.70 per hour for a worker who is aged 21 years or over;   • £5.30 per hour for a worker who is aged 18 years or over (but is not yet aged 21 years);   • £3.87 per hour for a worker who is aged under 18 years;   •…

Equality Act 2010 throws new light on disability

Monday, 23 March 2015
The decision that a person with manageable Type 2 Diabetes is not disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 throws new and helpful light on the subject of disability.   Prior to the decision I would suggest that the majority of lawyers would have thought that the individual concerned came within the definition of "disability". The person concerned managed his Type 2 diabetes through medication and avoiding sugary drinks. The legal definition of…

Speaking openly about race related issues

Friday, 20 March 2015
Trevor Phillips has sparked much needed debate about the right to speak openly about race related issues. Trevor Phillips is perhaps one of the few people who could spark the debate without being accused of being a racist. His former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's role is specifically to work towards securing equality and Mr Phillips is black. His comments were much trailed in advance of a Channel 4 documentary on Thursday…

New Compensatory Award Limits for Employment Tribunal Claims

Tuesday, 24 February 2015
The Employment Tribunal compensatory award limit for unfair dismissal claims is due to increase on 6th April 2015.   The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will be increased from £76,574 to £78,335 for any dismissal that takes effect on or after 6th April 2015. The cap on the compensatory award is £78,335 or 52 weeks' pay whichever is the lower.   The employee's basic award is calculated on a week's pay. With effect from…

Statutory Sick Pay Rates Increase

Tuesday, 24 February 2015
With effect from 6th April 2015, there will be an increase in the statutory sick pay limit. The new weekly rate of statutory sick pay will be £88.45 per week which has been increased from £87.55. Author: Gareth Price Gloucester

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